If you’ve ever wondered about the cultural background, dietary preferences or relationship status of your favourite British musicians, you’re not alone. Our cousins over pond have been hitting Google hard with weird and obscure questions about our highest profile stars – and data experts at digital record label Ostereo have analysed the Google search data and crunched the numbers to reveal the most-asked questions about this year’s Brit Award nominees.
The Ostereo analysts, who use online engagement data to help them identify emerging talent, tracked and analysed search terms relating to the artists behind 2018’s most critically-acclaimed albums – and some of them are just plain weird.
Background and culture
Some 24% of all questions asked about this year’s Brit hopefuls were related to their religion, cultural background, race or nationality.
‘Is Dua Lipa a muslim?’ was the third most commonly asked question about the London-born singer-songwriter nominated four times for this year’s awards. The most-asked questions about Jax Jones, Ella Mai, Little Mix, Mabel, Tom Walker, Giggs, George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Lewis Capaldi and Mahalia were all related to background and culture.
American music fans were also highly curious about the relationship status of this year’s crop of talent. “Is Paloma Faith married?” was the most-asked question about the London star and “Is Ella Mai single” was the second most-asked question about the Grammy-nominated and highly-rated singer-songwriter.
Whether or not an artist is vegan appears to be of great importance to American music lovers too. The data showed that high volumes of searches for Rita Ora, Rudimental, Lily Allen and Paloma Faith were related to whether or not they were vegan.
Just plain weird
Ostereo’s data also revealed some frankly odd queries, ranging from searches about satanism to artists with secret identities.
Weirdest searches Americans have been making about British stars…
- Is Calvin Harris dead?
- Is Jonas Blue related to Jonas Brothers?
- Is Jorja Smith related to Will Smith?
- Is Craig David still alive?
- Is Aphex Twin a genius?
- Is Jess Glynne deaf?
- Are the 1975 Satanists?
- Is Paloma Faith related to Adam Faith?
- Are Little Mix problematic?
- Is Rudimental Macklemore?
- Is Lewis Capaldi on Snapchat?
Most common types of searches
26% of all searches related to an artist’s cultural background or ethnicity – For example “Is Ramz Ghanaian?” and “Is Dua Lipa Muslim?”
15% of all searches related to an artist’s relationship status – For example “Is Ella Mai single?” and “Is Jonas Blue married?”
5% of all searches related to whether an artist was dead or alive – For example “Is Calvin Harris dead?” and “Is Craig David still alive?”
3% of all searches related to whether or not an artist was vegan – For example “Is Rita Ora vegan?”
3% of all searches related to whether or not an artist was related to someone famous – For example is “Is Paloma Faith related to Adam Faith?” and “Is Jorja Smith related to Will Smith?”
Howard Murphy, founder of Ostereo, says:
“The Internet, especially platforms like YouTube and Instagram have globalised music. Gone are the days of a group having to travel across the Atlantic to ‘break’ America, or vice-versa; an act can break globally almost instantly from anywhere in the world with the right song and campaign.
“The traditional promotion cycle for new acts is obsolete, meaning audiences can consume an artist’s entire catalogue without ever seeing a photograph of them or reading an interview.
“Gone are the days of a Brit Award nominee being unheard of in America. Audiences around the world can be immediately exposed to the best UK acts, so it’s not a surprise that they’re curious to find out more about them. They want to understand them and engage with them on a variety of levels. That’s why some of the searches we’re seeing made about artists are so obscure.”